"Outlander" Season 1 episode 4 once again prevented Claire from getting home to the 20th century. Last week she promised to get home or die trying, and she didn’t seem to care how close she came to being killed in this week’s episode, titled ‘The Gathering.’ Jamie seemed to care a little more about her life, though. Find out how he saved her this week:
The episode started with Claire playing a hunting game with children. It helped her map out the land surrounding Castle Leoch so she could make her escape. Still, she needed to find distractions for the spies that the MacKenzies assigned to her. She distracted one with a woman, but needed to find a way to get rid of the other spy.
Geillis visited with an ingredient for Claire that always put her husband to sleep. She commented that Claire had too much food and asked if she was pregnant. Geillis questioned if Claire was carrying an illegitimate child, but Claire was offended at the suggestion. Geillis had plenty of questions that made Claire uncomfortable. Claire was offended at the suggestion that she would cheat on her husband, and Geillis asked if he was really dead. Claire lied and said that he had passed. Geillis told her that she should find a husband if she was going to stay in the highlands.
Geillis’ remedy was actually part of Claire’s plan to get back to her husband in 1946 during an event called the Gathering. The Gathering was where men pledged their allegiance to Laird Colum MacKenzie. Claire assumed that she was not expected at the event, or at least that was what she told Mrs. Fitz when she asked about her outfit for the event. Mrs. Fitz managed to find an evening dress for Claire and took her to the event.
Mrs. Fitz walked Claire in and greeted Iona MacKenzie, played by author Diana Gabaldon. Gabaldon put on a Scottish accent as Iona and Mrs. Fitz complimented each other. Gabaldon shushed the spy translating Colum’s Gaelic speech for Claire. Showrunner Ron Moore also made a silent cameo in the scene.
Claire tried to leave the party early, claiming that she needed to get ready for the hunt tomorrow. Her assigned spy really didn’t want to go and begged her to stay. Claire used the remedy from Geillis as a drink for the spy. He took a long swig and told her that it was awfully strong alcohol.
“It’s a sedative,” she said.
“Is that Spanish?” he asked.
With that, she finally got out of the Gathering, but Laoghaire stopped by her dungeon office. Laoghaire asked her for a love potion for Jamie. Claire gave her dried horse dung, told her to sprinkle it at Jamie’s door step, click her heels three times while repeating “There’s no place like love.”
The lovesick girl wasn’t her only roadblock. Two men tried to attack Claire on her way to the stables, but a drunken Dougal saved her. Then he tried to grope her. She smacked him and he let her go. When he went down to grab her bag, she knocked him out with a chair.
She made it to the stables, but she tripped over a sleeping Jamie. He told her that she wouldn’t make it out. There are extra guards in the forest tonight. He took her back to the castle and tried to get her into a tunnel so no one noticed her return, but the spies assigned to her found them. They forced them to go back to the Gathering.
Claire discovered the reason Jamie was in the stables was because he was hiding. If he took the oath and pledged allegiance to Colum, he had a right to the throne. If enough clansmen want Jamie to be laird, he can be, but Dougal would rather kill him. If Jamie refused to take the oath, Colum would want him dead.
Jamie told Colum he would not be taking a vow, but “I hold myself bound to your word.” No one tried to kill him, so it seemed to be a good compromise.
Claire went on the hunting trip with the men the next day, and it appeared Dougal had forgotten Claire knocked him unconscious. Claire noted 20 men to hunt down one boar seemed like overkill, but it became very clear this was a dangerous situation for the men.
A boar attacked one man, but Claire patched up his leg. She heard another scream and went to attend to her next patient—but a boar almost attacked her. Colum shot it when it was only inches from her. She got to the next victim and realized he wouldn’t make it. Dougal held the man until he died while Claire asked him about his home to calm him.
They returned from the hunt to discover the men at Castle Leoch playing a game that looked like field hockey. Dougal joined the game and it took a violent turn. Suddenly it became a competition between Dougal and Jamie. Jamie finally got Dougal on the ground, and he didn’t seem very pleased Jamie publicly had bested him.
Claire was in the middle of finding a new plan when an unexpected visitor arrived. Dougal came to Claire in her dungeon and thanked her for helping the man die peacefully. He admired her abilities and asked if Claire had seen a lot of men die. She said she had, but she didn’t tell him that she was an army nurse. Dougal informed her he would be collecting taxes around the land and was planning to take her along.
“Outlander” airs Saturdays at 9 p.m. EDT on Starz. Do you think that Claire’s travels with Dougal will make it harder or easier for her to escape? Sound off in the comments section below!